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Güzin Karagöz stands at the Old Well with her arms crossed

Güzin Karagöz has explored her passion for European politics and international relations inside and outside the classroom during her time at Carolina.

Karagöz, a senior from Istanbul, Turkey, is a contemporary European studies and political science double major with a minor in data science. Her fields of study have connected in interesting and unexpected ways.

“I often take classes in European politics, specifically relating to immigration policy in the EU,” she said, adding that her data science classes are an asset for her senior thesis on the analysis of the implications of migration policy.

In her contemporary European studies major, her favorite class has been “Democracy and International Institutions in an Undivided Europe.” 

Taught by Milada Vachudova, the course focuses on the collapse of communist rule in Europe in 1989 and the reaction of international institutions. Güzin said the class’s content and instructor were equally incredible.

“Professor Vachudova is my favorite professor at UNC,” she said. “She has always encouraged me to achieve my goals — and helped me to do so as well.”

Outside the classroom, Karagöz is part of WRESL — the Working Group on Refugees, Europe and Service Learning, a student-led organization housed at the UNC Center for European Studies. As the associate director, she helps to coordinate campus speaking and learning opportunities for organizations that help immigrants and refugees.

After she graduates, Karagöz will take a gap year before pursuing her dream of becoming an immigration lawyer. Though she always knew she wanted to be an attorney, her experience studying abroad and “being able to learn about and observe migration trends and policy implications on the ground” confirmed what area of law she would practice.

Looking back at her time at UNC, she is thankful for her mentor, Kathleen Lindner, executive director of the Center for European Studies.

“She has been incredibly supportive of my academic career,” Karagöz said.

And, of course, she’ll always remember her all-time favorite UNC memory: Beating Duke in basketball her first year and rushing Franklin Street with her fellow Tar Heels to celebrate the victory.

By Jess Abel ’19

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